Christine Gabriel is not only the author of the soon to be released fantasy novel Crimson Forest, she is also a high-energy ninja rock star with a heart of gold. When she’s not too busy writing, she also works as a publicist for Pandamoon Publishing and I was lucky to slow her down for a few minutes this week to catch up. Keep reading to find out more…
As the secrets begin to reveal themselves, Angelina learns that the mistakes made in the past could ultimately alter her future. She realizes she will have to risk everything, including her own soul in order to save the one man her heart can’t live without. It’s within the Crimson Forest that she’ll realize true love exists and fairy tales are real...
Steph Post: Crimson Forest’s debut is only a month away… How excited are you right about now?
Christine Gabriel: Oh man, excited is probably and understatement. I’m freaking scared to death!! I’m so darn nervous that I will probably hide under my comforter the day of its release haha.
SP: Crimson Forest is a new adult fantasy novel about an eighteen year old girl confronting the mystical inhabitants of a mysterious forest just outside of town. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy and was struck by the imaginative characters and situations. What draws you to the fantasy genre and what is your process for creating characters that are ‘otherworldly’?
CG: I love the fantasy genre because I’m so curious about the things that are unknown and undiscovered in this great big ol’ world. I mean, why couldn’t some of these creatures exist, but they simply hide themselves from us because they fear what we would do or what they would have to do to us?
When it comes to creating my characters, I always base them on people that I know. Everything from their personality to the way they look goes into that character. I’ll even go so far as to use a similar name. I feel almost like it’s kind of an honor because once you’re put into a book, you can never die…so in some sense, they’ll get to live forever in the pages of something that many people will enjoy for years to come.
SP: Another point that struck me when reading Crimson Forest was the strength of the main character’s narration. How do you go about getting inside the head of an eighteen year old? Do you find writing from this point of view natural or challenging?
CG: It was very natural to be honest. I just put myself in her shoes and write how I believe I would’ve been back when I was 18 (man that just made me feel so old.)
SP: Crimson Forest is the first book in a fantasy series that will continue on with Crimson Moon. Do you have the entire series already planned out? When writing, are you continually looking ahead towards the scope of the series?
CG: I do! Crazy right?! Let’s just say that the future books will hopefully be just as amazing as the first one. I am presently in love with Crimson Moon. It has really turned out to be a fabulous read. When writing, I do continually look ahead towards the scope of the series. Right now, my biggest obstacle is deciding if I want to end it as a Trilogy or continue it on. Let’s just say I know how the series will end whether I continue on after book 3 or stop.
SP: In addition to being an author, you are also an author publicist. Any tips for authors on how to navigating the ever-challenging world of marketing and publicity?
CG: One thing an author must remember is that – Marketing is NOT scary and is a necessity in this ever changing market. There are millions of authors trying to get their work noticed and without marketing your work it will go nowhere. That’s why I adore my job as a Publicist because I get to help make dreams come true by getting their work noticed by thousands of people.
Also, whether you’re an Indie Author or with a Publishing House, marketing begins and ends with you. What you put out is what you will receive. This is easily forgotten in the publishing world as some authors believe it is not their responsibility to market themselves. Building your brand is crucial. You want your readers to know you, not just your books.
SP: On a personal note, I have to ask- what’s the deal with earthworms? I get strange phobias (mine are probably stranger than yours), but I’ve never heard of a fear of earthworms….
CG: Yeah, it’s a pretty dumb fear honestly but holy cow…you should see what happens when I come face to face with this fear.
When I was younger, my babysitter let me watch the movie “Squirm.” Let’s just say it tainted my entire outlook on any kind of worm that exists. All I can think about is this squiggly, slimy worm burrowing itself into my skin. Yeah…I’m totally terrified of them.
SP: To wrap this up, let’s do speed favorites (first thing that pops into your head!) Ready? Go!
Sports Team: Ohio State Buckeyes of course!! Go Bucks! Oooo and The Cleveland Indians!
Ice Cream Flavor: Cookie Dough
Book You Read as a Child: Where the Red Fern Grows
Celebrity: Adam Sandler
Undomesticated Animal: A Squirrel!!!
Ride at a Theme Park: Millennium Force at America’s Roller Coast – Cedar Point
Sentence to Tell Your Kids When They’re Driving You Crazy: That’s it, I’m taking away your (insert electronic of choice.)
Want to know more about Christine?
Christine Gabriel, a diehard Buckeye fan, grew up in the small farming community of Monroeville, Ohio where she spent much of her time writing imaginative stories. She has spent the last ten years managing a financial institution in Norwalk, Ohio in which she’s learned that compassion and love are her greatest gifts to give to others.
She has a small tribe of children who have become her biggest fans and most honest critics. She’s an avid animal lover and has been known to bring home a stray to cuddle with her while she writes. She’s also deathly afraid of earthworms and will cross the street in order to avoid one on the sidewalk. She loves vanilla coffee and can’t begin her morning without it, even knowing that doing so has consequential effects that could potentially cause a Zombie Apocalypse.
Christine’s most important view is that her readers are able to escape out of their realities and enjoy a little piece of her imagination. She holds each one of her readers close to her heart and loves them as if they were one her dearest friends. She currently resides in Norwalk, Ohio where she’s working on Crimson Moon, Book Two of The Crimson Chronicles series.
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